EPICentre to host MaRS Intensive Summer Program in May

EPICentre MaRS Intensive Summer Program
Starting on May 12th, EPICentre will be kicking off its intensive summer program. These workshops encourage peer and experiential learning in diverse cohorts of up to 30 participants. Throughout the program, the participating entrepreneurs work on the most critical business challenges facing early-stage startups. This deep, experiential program is facilitated by a team of experienced entrepreneurs and is split into five broad themes that focus on key areas of startup development, from customer development and business modelling to leadership and pitching to investors. Take your startup to the next level. Get tools, mentoring and peer feedback to help as you roll up your sleeves and develop strategic components for your business. Our intensive program combines five workshop series and will run from May 12th – May 27th.

Starting Lean: Value Proposition (2 sessions, 4 hours each)

Do you have an idea or a product that you would like to turn into a business? This two-part workshop series is designed to help early-stage ventures understand the Lean Startup approach and learn ways to start collecting feedback from potential customers. The tools and frameworks covered in the workshop will help you to lower the risk associated with launching your new product or business. Our approach will also help new ventures to better understand how sales and marketing activities can be organized to land the first customers.

Session #1 – Preparing to leave the building (May 12th)

Most new business ideas are based on assumptions about desirable product features, marketing

effectiveness, customers’ willingness to pay, etc. In this session, a process will be established for each venture that will enable them to clarify and test key assumptions they have for their business.

The purpose is to lower the overall venture’s risk and to help inform decisions around target customers and product features.

Deliverables: Overview of the Lean Startup approach and a tested interview guide based on the venture’s most important foundational assumptions.

Session #2 – Determining your value proposition (May 19th)

The value proposition is a statement that reflects a new venture’s most fundamental decisions, including target customer, problem to be solved and which product solution to offer.

This session will focus on the data obtained from customer interviews to help increase your understanding of your target customer and determine your value proposition.

Entrepreneurs will learn how to synthesize customer feedback into a valueproposition.

Deliverables: A framework and template for determining your value proposition.

Starting Lean: Business Model (2 sessions, 4 hours each)

“The purpose of a startup is to search for a scalable and repeatable business model,” says Steve Blank. At its most basic level, your business model illustrates how your new venture will make money.

In this two-part workshop series, we follow Steve Blank’s methodology and introduce startups to Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas and the analytical process required to validate their business model. The workshops are highly interactive and all participants will be able to design their own business model during the series.

Session #3 – Designing your business model (May 20th)

This session will introduce participants to Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas and the key questions to consider when designing a business model. This is a very hands-on session; all participants are expected to work on several business model designs, including their own business model, before the session is over.

Deliverable: A business model designed around the participant’s value proposition.

Session #4 – Validating your business model (May 26th)

Several factors impact the financial sustainability of a new venture’s business model. In this session, you will learn how to analyze external forces, such as macro, industry, and competitive threats and opportunities, and how to implement findings in your business model design.

The session will also cover key business model analytics, including customer acquisition cost and customer lifetime value, and their importance in finding and validating a sustainable business model.

Deliverable: A framework for validating your business model that analyzes external forces and key business model metrics.

Session #5 – Introduction to Leadership for Entrepreneurs (May 27th)

Are you leading a startup venture for the first time? Do you know what your approach to leadership is? What is the “entrepreneurial roller coaster” and how will you lead people through the ride? Whether you are leading one person or many, it’s important to understand your personal leadership behaviours and how to use them to move your team and business forward. Deliverables: Learning the top leadership skills that help make entrepreneurs successful and becoming aware of the different leadership behaviours. Using these insights to create interview questions for prospective partners as you build your leadership team. To register for the EPICentre MaRS Intensive Summer Program, please visit our Events page: http://www.epicentreuwindsor.ca/events/ For inquiries, please contact Mike Polychuk at polychuk@uwindsor.ca or Taylor Laporte at taylor.laporte@uwindsor.ca.